The students of the Delhi University on Monday staged a protest at the Arts Faculty to express solidarity with the students of Jamia Millia Islamia who braved the tyranny unleashed by the Delhi Police on late Sunday evening. While the students of the Political Sciences Department decided to boycott their examinations, the English Department students demanded their examinations be postponed.
The protesters alleged that they were attacked by the outsiders backed by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Praishad (ABVP), the student wing of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.
Sumit Katiyar, a protester, said that the Delhi Police remained a mute spectator of the violence unleashed on the students. He said, “The students had started their protest at around 9 am in the morning outside the Faculty of Social Sciences against the barbarism meted out to the students of the Jamia University. Suddenly, we found that a few unidentified persons started attacking students. The police personnel were deployed there, but no one came to our rescue.”
Abhigyan, another student of Political Science Department confirmed the events. Talking to NewsClick, he said, “The students of the Political Science Department had decided to boycott the exams. Around the afternoon, we were attacked by the activists of ABVP who called us names for extending our support to Jamia. Post-conflict, while three of the students were detained by the police for a brief period, the police did not dare to question these attackers at all. This is alarming!”
Besides Delhi University, the student bodies of other educational institutes too expressed their solidarity with Jamia. In a press communique, the students of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi said that “CAA in conjunction with a nationwide NRC is possible to result in a direct and a vindictive vendetta against a certain minority section of our population. (sic)”
It added, “It is disheartening to see the ruling party which boasts of protesting against the might of 1975 national emergency has resorted to brutal state-sponsored police repression against students not even sparing hostels and libraries. It is time we hold our leaders responsible for the values enshrined in the constitution.”
Meanwhile, the teaching community too came in support of the students and demanded a judicial enquiry into the matter. Federation of Central Universities’ Teachers Association (FEDCUTA) said that it “notes with extreme dismay the tendency by the government to crackdown heavily on the constitutionally guaranteed rights to expression, protest and of association. It is equally unfortunate that teachers and students at AMU have also been treated in a similar fashion with lathis and tear gas shells even as they have been peacefully protesting the CAA.The CAA has been opposed by teachers’ associations in various parts of the country as it goes against the pluralistic and secular values enshrined in our Constitution.”
It added, “An independent judicial enquiry should be instituted to fully investigate police excesses and to take necessary action. We also demand that FIRs against students be withdrawn and all steps be taken to restore normalcy on campuses.”